Naseem Shah said Abrar Ahmed walked in like he is “Imran Khan” after the dismissal of centurion Sarfaraz Ahmed on a thrilling final day of the Karachi Test.
Pakistan was 304-9 with its last pair in, and New Zealand desperately seeking one more wicket, when bad light ended play with three overs remaining.
In an interaction posted on the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) official Youtube channel, Naseem recalled how he pleaded to New Zealand skipper Tim Southee to call it a draw but Abrar’s confident walk gave him hope.
“When he was coming in, I told (Tim) Southee – look he’s wearing glasses, it’s so late, he won’t be able to see the ball properly. This is not fair. But he walked in with style, as if he was Imran Khan. I realized this guy has confidence,” said Naseem.
No. 11 batter Abrar Ahmed joined No. 10 Naseem Shah and they held out for 21 balls before the umpires ended the match in dimming light. Naseem and Abrar faced Bracewell and Ish Sodhi , with all 10 fielders around the batter, but survived the nail-biting moments.
“Test matches are very hard to lose since we’ve been giving it our all for five days. All our efforts came down to the last 20-30 minutes and it was down to the two of us to save the match or even go for the win,” said Naseem.
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In the dying moments of Naseem took on Bracewell, hitting him for a boundary and a six. Naseem revealed how he also challenged Southee to keep the field up and he would for the chase.
“I told Southee, if you keep the same field, I will go for the chase. But he sent the fielders back after that four and six. Then I decided I wouldn’t go for it and a draw would be best,” said Shah.
Abrar also spoke about their partnership saying, Naseem told him to play the leg spinner Ish Sodhi, while he would handle the off-spin of Bracewell.
“Naseem told me, ‘have belief in yourself. I have seen you in the nets. You bat well, especially against spinners’. He told me to face the leg-spinner since, being one myself, I can read the googly and flipper. He decided to play the off-spinner. That was our discussion,” said Abrar.
The Test series, New Zealand’s first in Pakistan in 20 years, ended in a 0-0 stalemate.